Have you ever really thought about the way email campaigns are sometimes described? Have you heard your clients talk about “email blasts” and “mail shots“? Sounds less like we are emailing our subscribers, and more like we are declaring war on them!
Without getting too carried away, it’s clear that names are important. If our clients, and we ourselves think about our email campaigns as ‘blasts’, big one way transfers from us to them, we’ll be tempted to act in ways we never would in a real conversation.
The more we see our audience as passive receivers of a mass message, the less likely we are to think about what works best for them instead of us. Email is such a personal medium, at least on the receiving end, and it’s a dreadful waste of that intimacy to just throw out the same message to everyone.
So what do we do instead? I’m suggesting two courses of action here:
- Stop using war metaphors like ‘mail shot’ and ‘e-blast’ right away. Encourage your clients to think about their emails as conversation starters and updates. It sounds small but it can really impact on their decision making.
- Make your emails more personalized by using tools like segmenting, custom fields and analytics. It helps you to stop thinking of your readers as a single mass, and start considering them as individuals.
Treating people as individuals flows through to respecting their ability to unsubscribe at any time, and not hiding the link from them. It means wherever possible letting people email you back instead of discouraging two way contact.
Email should be a conversation, not an invasion.